Google is planning to launch a 7-inch tablet in July. The slate is being co-developed by Asus with the two companies aiming to ship around 600,000 units initially, according to sources from the upstream supply chain as reported by rumor king DigiTimes.
The publication says that units are scheduled to ship in June, although that wasn’t the original plan. Google had hoped to release the 7-incher in May but cost restrictions and design issues delayed the launch by two months. Shipments are expected to reach between 2 million and 2.5 million by year’s end.
Earlier this year DigiTimes pointed out that the Google tablet would be a lower-end product designed to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The search giant reportedly selected Asus based on their ODM capability and good product quality while Asus simply wanted to get in good with Google at an early stage.
DigiTimes isn’t always the most accurate with regards to rumors but this one does have some solid evidence. In December, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that his company could have a tablet ready within six months that would rival the iPad and all others.
All signs point to the Asus tablet as the unit he was speaking of based on the timing of the comments. But in the same respect, Google could very well be working on a separate tablet with Motorola Mobility following the completion of their acquisition on Tuesday.
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